|The bookstore at the Ontario Teen Bookfest. Do you see MIDNIGHT THIEF?|
Note: I'm still giving signed bookplates to people who preorder. See details here.
While I've always theoretically understood the importance of good cover art, but I didn't really appreciate it until the months before Midnight Thief's release.
Disney-Hyperion really hit it out of the park with this one. As soon as the cover went up on goodreads, people started telling me they became interested in the book because of the cover. And when Midnight Thief went on sale for the first time at Ontario Teen Book Fest (yes, we released 20 copies early for the festival!) I saw people crossing the room to pick up the book because the art caught their eye. We sold out all 20 copies around lunchtime, and given that I was a complete unknown who didn't even technically have a book out yet, it can only be because of the cover art and description.
Today I'm thrilled to have my cover designer Tanya Ross-Hughes over to talk a little bit about the design process. And stick around after the interview because I'm giving away a signed finished copy of Midnight Thief!
When trying to decide what a book cover should look like, it seems like there are so many endless possibilities. What was the process like for deciding on Midnight Thief’s cover concept?
The process started with the editor, Rotem Moscovich, and myself discussing some possible directions. It needed to convey fantasy and intrigue. We wanted to include a castle, and possibly a mountain lion.
There were 3 comp ideas for this cover:
1. A bas-relief carving depicting a mountain lion from an exterior castle wall. This had a moonlight cast to it and a shadowy figure.
2. A mountain lion door knocker. For this one, I imagined a "midnight thief" walking past a grand castle door with the moonlight shining bright. I took this concept further by adding real eyes to the cat, as though it were watching, or transforming.
|Inspiration for the Door Knocker|
3. A far away view of a thief climbing up an exterior castle wall, dark and moonlit.
Comps 2 and 3 were both well received at the Disney-Hyperion cover meeting, but ultimately the door knocker got the most votes.
|Comp 2, which got the most votes|
Once you had the concept, did you go through many iterations of the actual design? What was that process like?
After the comp was approved I needed to pull together the final art. This cover went very smoothly in that the only element that changed from the initial comp was the mountain lion head and title font.
|Oh hai demon cat!|
|Demon cat door knocker|
I hired an artist who made the mountain lion head out of clay. We then photographed it and I pulled it all together combining the final head with stock images in Photoshop.
And here is the final cover, and the cover description:
Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.
But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.
Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.
And, as promised, I'm giving away a signed finished copy of Midnight Thief. To enter, just use the rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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